August 2020…How did that happen?

I can’t believe it’s been so long since I posted on this blog! My daughter got engaged, I broke my wrist, we moved…I have a fabulous yarn room and weaving space!!…My daughter got married….and of course COVID-19 is here.

But we are doing fine…I wove lots, planned a really big wedding…wove some more…realized we could only have 10 guests…planned a really small wedding…then in May our Governor said we could have gatherings of up to 100 in an outdoor setting…took a look at our new, large, three quarters of an acre back yard…and planned a garden party wedding. Which was really lovely! Perfect!….so now I can weave again!

I spent this past weekend dyeing a couple of warps, a roving for spinning and three skeins of silk. My hands are blue!


The roving and two of the warp chains are using the same dyes…shades of blue, gray and brown. I’m kinda in love with this group of colors.

The second roving is paler than I expected, but I have a deflected doubleweave pattern in mind that will let me add a lot of other colors to it.

The third roving is a crazy mess of colors…what was I thinking? I don’t know…not sure if I’m going to over dye the whole thing, or just that ugly fuchsia…I just don’t know quite how that happened!!!

I also dyed three skeins of a raw nubby, very fine silk. I’m going to use them for both warp and weft. I’m hoping those scarfs are Transparent and graceful and I’m also hoping that they are not too tangled to un-skein…really fine, really nubby and really tangley yarn….1,400 yards per 100 grams…which is the same as about 400 yards per ounce….so…we will see how this works…

On my big Macomber loom …Clara is a 40 inch wide, 8 harness loom… is a set of scarfs from the June Handwoven magazine..spider pattern. After I take it off the loom and wash it, the yarn should shrink up slightly and look more like the picture in the magazine.

The small Norwood loom ( I love that dark cherry wood) I have a Chenille scarf set up, but I’m not happy with it, so I’m going to be making some adjustments to that warp…I think I will do a color and weave pattern and make cowls with it.

So that’s what this coming week will look like…Spider scarf weaving, chenille scarf weaving, and maybe a bit of spinning…

I’m listening to a really good audio book..The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian while I weave. I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy!

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Happy New Year!

Happy new year everyone! I hope this year brings you joy, peace, and success! I’ve been thinking about my weaving year and what I want to get done…so here is my bucket list of weaving stuff for 2018..( I thought if I wrote it down, I might become accountable for at least some of it…)

But first…a teaser.. IMG_3103

Bucket list of weaving stuff

* weave one set of towels a month..even a small set would do

* join the Lowell, Michigan fiber group

* join the Holland, Michigan fiber group and get to some of their meetings

* find a couple of sales not in December

* put more things in my shop and maybe link it to Etsy

*. Figure out Instagram or whatever that picture thing is that Hannah does

* try to spin at least once a week because I am out of colors for my hats

*. Try to use up yarn I already own so no containers are on the floor…

* get something ready for the MLH exhibit…entries are due by Jan 20th-ish

*. Perfect some drafts and market them….which means spend some time writing a detailed recipie and it might also mean that I need to buy Fiberworks software and learn how to use it.

* dye some warps….take Rita s open dyeing day and get there prepared to dye at least 5 warps..or more.

* akkk! And there is probably more….

So, in reviewing this incomplete list I find that I am forced to declare that

January 2018 is the first annual international month of table runners!

That’s right folks! All you weavers get Crackin!

In preparation of this declaration, I have been thinking about this since Christmas, I have been designing an 8 harness rep weave table runner to go with my Tom Campbell pottery. Here are my colors…IMG_1588

This is Dragon Tale Rayon. The variegated yarn has a repeat every 106 inches…which is almost 3 yards. I measured off the stripes of the variegated yarn first by going around my warping board In a circle. I measured the rest of the yarn using the tradition way on my warping board. It’s about 11 inches wide and I love how it is turning out! I think it can be one of my entries for the MLH exhibit next month…I’m hoping to have it done by the end of the week.

I haven’t done rep weave since I took Rosalie Nielsen’s class a few years ago. I have her new book on rep weave, but I need to study it.

I designed this by taking one of Kelly Marshall’s designs out of her book. Then I eliminated half of her blocks. I removed shafts 9 and 10. Then I moved blocks around. Then I changed the order. Then I changed the treading. So essentially, I removed all the careful thought process and reasoning she puts into her design and the Weave-it program and I just truly muddied everything up until I liked how it looks. That’s how to design an 8 harness rep table runner when you don’t understand the technique thoroughly.

I love, love love how the variegated yarn pools… IMG_3104

And this is what it’s looking like after 10 inches…hurrah! IMG-1587IMG_1589

So now I’m going back to my loom! It’s cold here in Michigan, but I’m sending warm wishes for a wonderful year to all of you!

–Rebecca

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Merry Christmas and Happy Boxing Day!

Okay, I had to do a Wikipedia search to learn about Boxing Day…and since I already have rewarded my two young adult servants fairly well this Christmas, they are receiving nothing more today from me, except leftovers for lunch and a big bowl of chili for dinner.

I hope all of you are having a wonderful holiday season! I haven’t woven anything since the first week of December and I am totally going into withdrawal. I’m in the planning stage…and it’s looking like table runners are first on my list. I had seen a scarf at one of our guild sales a few years ago with a very tight, interesting weave and I put a shout out to the membership of my weavers guild, The Woodland Weavers and Spinners of Grand Rapids, Michigan. It’s a pattern from Handwoven Magazine, entitled ” Homage to Frank Lloyd Wright”. Which is kinda cool since our FLW house in town is one of the gardens I help take care of In the summer….so I’m looking at what I have on hand, and if I need to get anything new to do a runner…it’s an interesting weave, kinda like rep in that the weft is invisible, and the warp is light, dark, light, dark. So every block can only be one of two colors. Which are carried in the warp. And it’s 60 ends to the inch. Yea gads! That’s crazy dense for 8/2 tencil! One of the things I’ve noticed..about my color choices.. ( and I do love colors). Is that mayhaps I’m weaving some stuff with too many colors…so I’m thinking these table runners may be white, gray and black…with maybe just a pop of blue or orange…( I just heard one of my friends groan about the orange..lol!).

I’m thinking something along these lines….

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Or…. I could do something like this..with a bunch of my usual colors..again, I will have to dig threw my yarn….

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I have rayon…that I bought years ago on a road trip to Asheville , North Carolina (former Beer City, usa…until Grand Rapids, Michigan took that title)

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I have tencil…IMG_1572

So I think I can mix the two of these.

I also have some 10/2 cotton…but not a lot of neutrals available.

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Like I said…I kinda like those oranges and reds..but not sure that’s a table runner that would sell….

So…I will continue to ponder today, and perhaps place an order to Webs, since someone dear to me gave me a gift certificate!!! Hooray!!

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Me and Cally Booker!

I like Cally Booker!   Well, I should first say I’ve never actually met Cally Booker, I lurk around and read her blog, and hero worship from a distance.  But I really really like her!

I want to assure you that I am in no way  near her league of weaving expertise, but we are, at least this month, thinking along the same lines.

I don’t know if you do this, but by the time I’m halfway thru a project…my mind wanders…and I start planning what to do next.  And in the midst of my ugly hipsters scarfs…which are finished and just as ugly as I expected… IMG_1474 I started looking thru my weaving books and thru Pinterest for a new idea.   This is what caught my eye in Strickler’s book…

Look at those sweet squares!    But I didn’t want all the squares to be the same color…and I have this lovely yarn by Freia that I was going to knit a scarf with….IMG_1498this scarf actually…pattern is on ravelry…

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This yarn has incredibly long color changes and I wanted a visible color change of my little squares… and I like both the balls.. so how could I do this?   Weave a row of squares and then change shuttles and weave a row of the other ball?  But still the color change would be sooo slow… and then would I have to cut the yarn every color change?   Aggghhhh!

Oh! But wait!  What if I do a clasped weft? That way I can use both balls, one shuttle,  and the color change will be twice as fast!  Wow!  This should work…I might be kinda brilliant!

Almost as brilliant as Cally Booker…cause in the midst of my three day musing on how to do this…this is the project she posted on her blog:

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She did a dyed warp in the center to get her color shifts, and I have no idea what weave structure that is, but don’t they look like similar ideas?  I can’t believe it,  I’m thinking like Cally Booker!

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It’s September and I need to get busy!!!

Almost everyday I entertain myself while I weave by writing a blog post…in my head.  They don’t get posted..just float around in my mental swamp…but here goes with a real post:

It’s September, and I’d better get busy!  I just looked thru my towels that I have for my two December sales, and I am nowhere near the 60 towels that I want to have.  I have a few new scarfs…but again, nowhere near the 30 new scarfs that I wanted and I also promised myself to have 4 shawls done also.  And I also wanted something small…eyeglass pockets maybe…but would anybody buy those?  And what about my handspun, hand knit hats…should I switch this year and knit fingerless mittens?  Would those sell?regardless, I don’t have any knit yet, in fact I kinda wonder what happened to everything I wove..I thought I had been pretty busy…
Right now I am weaving two scarfs. I had the brilliant idea that I would do some hipster scarfs….here is where I’m going to show my age…because I don’t own any pencil thin black pants …but I could…anyway, I put on a very neutral beige  warp, and have been weaving big blocks of color…but the neutral warp is washing out the color and it’s a big blah thing…maybe I will like them better after the two scarfs are washed…really, I don’t need  to like them as long as some bearded dude with a sleeve of tattoos and his manual typewriter does….

Here is one of them on the loom….see. Washed out…but soft, alpaca and silk….hipsters like natural fibers and farm animals, right?

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I also wove some really nice huck lace scarfs…huck lace and I made friends this summer…I kinda love the weave…both these scarfs are the navy warp ( look at the fringe to see what the warp is) but I changed the supplemental warp stripes on each one and used a violet weft on the second one.  20 ends to the inch.  The supplemental stripes are 20/2 silk, which I doubled so they would stand out a bit more.  Very fun to weave, I think I will do a couple more of them this month.


So, I’m almost done with the Hipster scarfs, and I do have an idea for my next set.  Oh!  My September challenge is 10 scarfs.   Lets see what I can do!

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Happy 4 th of July!

I’m having a great, quiet morning…The Dude left at 5:00 am to go workout and then see his mom, and I made a pot of coffee and headed down to my loom.  I asked Alexia to play Elton John Radio ( which is my favorite mix of music for early In The morning….I will admit, however, if I’m really trying to get something done and need a good beat, I ask my son to put on Fallout Boy…
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So after I got my music going, and had half a cup, I took a look at the block twill I was doing with a mix of colors and started weeding out the colors that I didn’t like…which left me three….not much of a mix..I’m using Jagger spun zephyr yarn, and I seem to have more burgundy kinda of shades than blues.   I thought about trying a fuchsia, but I didn’t want to have to unweave if I didn’t like it, and even though I think fuchsia goes with everything, I don’t have a true fuchsia which meant I would have to dye one, which would set me back three days.  So then I got out my iPad and pulled up my Weaveit program.

This is what I was weaving

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And this is what I came up with

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Which looks like this…and I liked it.

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But I only liked it for about four inches and then I realized that I wished I hadn’t painted this warp with such long stretches of yellow.  Ugh.  Honestly when I was painting this warp I kinda went overboard with the yellow.  This section seems more like a yellow warp with a pop of ocean blue which is totally backwards from the effect I was hoping for.  So then I dug around my yarn room looking for a novelty yarn.  I found this

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And then I did this….I didn’t remove any of the painted warp, I just stuck 9 threads of  novelty yarn wherever I thought the pattern could use it.  I pressed the petals so I could see which threads to follow.

 

And it looks like this!  Which doesn’t photograph too well, but I think it is much better.  I only made the threads long enough for one yard, I’ll weave this and then see what I think.

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Happy 4th of July everyone!

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A Quick Catch Up

I can’t believe I haven’t posted anything since February…so here is a quick update….

I wove towels….first these.

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Then these…which I haven’t sewn yet…

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Then I went to Washington, DC with norbert and saw this staircase which is going to be the basis of a scarf  sometime.

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And I loved these blues from a painting at the Torpedo Factory artisans coop…

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Then I went to London with The Dude and two friends


Came home and my good friend pointed out that there are a few other colors than orange, and maybe I should weave some non-orangey towels….so I did, just for her.

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But they also need to be sewn…..  I really need a rainy day so I can sew
Then, I Took a class at the Michigan League of Handweavers annual conference …A study of Irridecense with Bobbi Irwin.

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I have to say the details of the class were lost on me,  I think it just kinda happens….but I had a great time and got to see a lot of weaving friends.

Then I painted a couple of warps…


And then I flew to Portland Oregon for The Dude’s high school reunion…

and now I’m weaving this painted warp scarf!

I think that’s everything that I had going on.

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San Jose TNNA

Hey everyone, I’m a bit behind in my blogging, so I’m going to try to catch up this weekend!   I flew to San Jose, California on January 19 th for the annual winter Textile Needlework Trade Association (TNNA) convention with my friend and employer Jean Smith.  Jean is my summertime gardening employer, but she also has a nationally recognized needlepoint canvas business…JeanSmithDesigns.com….
This is the third yeR I’ve traveled with her in January to help her with her show, I help her set up her booth, then I hang out with her as needlepoint store owners stop by to pick out and order new canvasses for their shops…mostly I just sit and chat because honestly, everyone really just wants to talk to Jean.  ItKe a few orders, but mostly I just chat with customers until Jean is free because they all just want Jean!  Jean has had this business over 30 years and some of her clientele are old friend and this is their chance to catch up with each other.  Here are some pictures of her booth…

Pretty nice!  I think Jean has the prettiest booth in the convention center because it’s not a mishmash of stuff, it’s all floral and the palette is so feminine and cheerful.  You can’t help but smile when you walk into her booth.

I left Jacob and Norbert home alone for 5 days and they survived!   Who hoo!
When I got home I looked at the calendar. ( because January was Linen Scarf Month..I’m not sure if I announced that loudly enough, but it definitely was!). And I finished up my lacy linen scarfs.

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While I was in San Jose, since I was still on Grand Rapids time and I was waking up early, I  looked thru this new (to me) book I had ordered used from the Eugene Textile Shop and designed a different kind of linen scarf…

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This is an excellent book, if you see one, get it because it’s in depth, but understandable.  An excellent reference book.

Here are the three scarfs I wove.  The warp is linen that I got from Heidi’s estate sale.  It had been cream colored and a bit musty, but Gabriela dyed it for me and it’s lovely now and fresh smelling.  I put on a three scarf warp of silvery gray, and wove the three scarfs, one turquoise, one blue, one lavender.   They are lovely and the perfect things wear  for spring into summer.

My goal was to weave 10 linen scarfs in January, I wove 8, plus my first one which was full of mistakes.  I love these linen scarfs..I might weave some more in March, but I can’t in February, because February’s towel month…that’s my proclamation !

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February is Towel Month!

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Ha!  Bet all you weavers didn’t know that February was towel month…and you are all thinking crap, crap, crap!  She tells me that on February 11?  That is so unfair!   Sorry about that, but now you know for next year…February is towel month…and, unlike most of you, I have a towel warp on my loom!  Who hoo!

I sure do like these colors!   I did make a mistake while warping. For some reason, I set these at 30 epi, and with 8/2 cotton, I usually use 24 epi for the warp, so they are a little denser than usual, but perfectly fine!   I did two towels with a bright blue..now I’m using violet…red is next!  Hope to have them done by the weekend so I can put on a new warp!

My goal is 28 towels, one for each day of the month…so I need to hustle, and so do all of you!

Oh!  Here is a picture of my makeshift photo studio…cause it’s too cold to be outside!

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Linen scarf in rose

I should be moving faster than I am on these scarfs, but I caught a cold so I’ve been huddled down under a blanket and occasionally knitting.  I figure if I knit one hat a week until November, I will have a good collection for my sales.  But I’m not putting any hats in my shop.  I can’t guarantee size.  They are all knit from my handspun yarn and each one fits differently.

I also signed up for the Michigan League of Handweavers workshops in early June.  The three day class I’m taking is with instructor Bobbie Irwin – Shimmering Colors: The Magic of Iridescence.  I’m really looking forward to that.  I just got the book Weaving with Echo and Iris for Christmas and frankly, I could use a little hand holding so I hope to be able to walk out of that class with a couple of scarf projects planned.

At the end of this week I’m going to the TNNA conference in San Jose, California.   Maybe I will pick up some new ideas there, too!

Oh, and before I forget, I signed up for Jane Staffords online weaving seminar.  She’s doing new lessons every five weeks, I’ve watched just part of the first one.  She’s starting at the very beginning of a project, talking about winding a warp and I’ve picked up a few tips..things I knew but had kinda forgotten to do.  If you are interested you can find it here at Janestaffordtextiles.com.

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